Sunday, June 22, 2014

Chova de mais! (Letter from June 9th)

Oi Família!

Hope everyone´s doing okay this week! I was extremely happy to find out that I recieved the package from Mom and Dad as well as the package from Evan on monday! Super awesome to get some love from home. I tore through the Honey Bunches of oats in about 2 days, and so now I´m trying to limit my self a little haha. I also ate the box of Oh´s that evan sent me in about 4 days. American cereal is the best thing in the world! Thank you so much for your letters too. They were honestly some of the best letters i´ve read on my mission. The photo album is great too, thanks Mom!

There´s good news, and there´s bad news. The good news is that we have at least 4 investigators with a solid batismal date! All of them have desire to learn and go to church, so that´s super awesome. The bad news is that I will most likely be transfered next week, and probably wont get to see them baptized. Itd be nice to see them get baptized, but i´ll be happy where ever I am for them!

This week was pretty tough (again). We had sun I think 2 or 3 days this week, and the rest of the time it was raining. On the days with sun, I hung my suits out in the sun and used a wash cloth to clean the mold off. I think they´re getting better. We bought some anti mold things that suck the water in the air. We have 3 in our bed room now, and I think they´re working.

I learned this week that my faith that I thought was strong is actually incredibly weak. Yesterday was our toughest day this week. Literally nobody let us in their house. Even the member that told us to come over and teach a referal bailed on us. Great. It was about 7:30, raining, and no one was letting us in. We also had a member with us, so that was a little bit of pressure. To be honest, I was pretty discouraged. I couldnt figure out why all of our plans werent working. All of the houses we knocked rejected us. What kind of lesson is this? I thought I already learned that sometimes we have to do hard things. Well, my lesson was that I am weak and need to trust in the Lord. The member who was with us who is actually a recent convert decided that he wanted to knock on a door and try to enter. You have to understand that we have a certain technique that we learned though Preach My Gospel that we use every time we knock on doors. The assistants taught us that this is the way Presidente wants us to enter in houses. So when Geandro, the member, knocked on this door, he didnt know the technique. He started talking and saying everything we were told NOT to say. This was literally what he said:

Geandro: Hi, I´m Geandro. These are the missionaries, Elder Stallings and Elder Marcondes. They give lessons to people that teach about Jesus. Do you have faith in Jesus Christ?
Woman: Yes
Genandro: Can we share this messge with you?

 I was ready to help him when she said no, but was shocked when the women told us to enter. What! How the heck did he do this?? I literally burst out laughing when she told us to enter. The lesson was good, and we ended our night just fine. So what lesson did I learn here? I learned that we literally cannot do anything without faith. We all know this, but do we actually know this? I thought I knew this. I also was reminded that the Lord is the one in charge. If he wants us to teach someone, we will. His will is higher than ours. Even with the worst possible conversation, we can enter in houses and teach. The only way to do this work is with the spirit. If we are discouraged, we lose our faith. If we lose our faith, we lose sight of what we are doing. And when this happens, the spirit is gone. I learned so many lessons last night, but most importantly that I need to improve. I think everyone can find something to learn in this story.

Once again thank you, Family for the packages. It was a good taste of home and good old Murrica. I love you all so much!
-Elder Stallings

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